The Pennsylvania state legislature has temporarily set aside a bill that would subject women to a mandatory ultrasound at least 24 hours before obtaining abortion care. This bill would inappropriately allow politicians to dictate medical practice and should be dismissed permanently.
There is no medical reason to require any type of ultrasound procedure in a state statute. The National Abortion Federation sets the standards for quality abortion care in North America through our evidence-based Clinical Policy Guidelines. We do not require an ultrasound for first trimester abortion care because there is no evidence that doing so improves patient outcomes or the safety of abortion care. Abortion is already one of the safest medical procedures provided in the United States.
The decision about whether an ultrasound is done and by what method should be a medical decision left to the clinician and the patient. The state has no place interfering in these decisions. That’s why groups such as NAF, along with our members in Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society oppose it.
Decisions about medical procedures and patient care should be left to clinicians and their patients—not to politicians. We urge Pennsylvania lawmakers to permanently reject this misguided bill.